Sound Off: ’13 Hours’ – What Happened?

ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 12:  (L-R) Mark "Oz" Geist, Kris "Tanto" Paronto, and John "Tig" Tiegen attend the Dallas Premiere of the Paramount Pictures film "13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi" at the AT&T Dallas Cowboys Stadium on January 12, 2016 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Peter Larsen/Getty Images for Paramount Pictures)ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 12: (L-R) Mark "Oz" Geist, Kris "Tanto" Paronto, and John "Tig" Tiegen attend the Dallas Premiere of the Paramount Pictures film "13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi" at the AT&T Dallas Cowboys Stadium on January 12, 2016 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Peter Larsen/Getty Images for Paramount Pictures)

Last Tuesday night, 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi had a massive premiere in front of 30,000 adoring fans at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX, the massive facility that’s the home of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys and hosted the first College Football National Championship last year. Director Michael Bay, the cast and real-life security contractors Mark “Oz” Geist, Kris “Tanto” Paronto & John “Tig” Tiegen were supported by musical performances from Madison Rising (“American’s Most Patriotic Rock Band”), rising country stars the Band Perry and former Soundgarden lead singer Chris Cornell.

The movie got some strikingly positive reviews from film critics who admitted they were dubious of any picture with the word “Benghazi” in the title. Many writers noted how surprisingly non-political it was and how Bay’s action chops highlighted the story of six security contractors who risked their lives in an impossible situation.

Things looked positive heading into last weekend.

And then…the movie only made $16 million on a winter weekend that had seen huge launches for other military movies. American Sniper‘s massive 2015 opening ($107 million) may be in a class all its own, but 13 Hours also made less than half than what Zero Dark Thirty made in 2013 ($33 million) and Lone Survivor made in 2014 ($38 million).

Have you seen 13 Hours yet? How does it compare to the other military-themed hit movies of the last few years? Did the fact that it’s a film about veteran security contractors and not active-duty warfighters make a difference? This is a good movie. We’re at a loss to explain its slow start at the box office. Share your ideas and theories below. Sound off!

  • Medicineman38

    I believe because of the negative articles about what happened could be one. I agree that it also that the main characters were “contractors” who had military experience.

    • DDee

      I think a lot of it has to do with the actors… Jim from “the office” was a bad casting decision. Just saying…

      BTW, I dont go to the movies anymore, with a 55″ TV, surround sound and Redbox. Who needs to drop 40something $$$ at a theater, when I can get the same effect at home for $2.00 for my whole family.

    • Leon Suchorski

      As far as them being contractors, just remember that they are all former military, and lived up to the standards that they were trained to. The only reason that the contractors were there, was because certain people did not have enough regard for the safety of Benghazi.

  • TeXan1111

    They should make more money due to all the advertising given by Fox News Channel. There are a lot of half truths here however.

    • Joel

      Half truth? Fox News Channel? Are you talking with a gut full of Clinton juice or are you going to be specific?

    • Mark Muller

      I read the book but have not yet seen the movie. If the movie is true to the book I am at a loss to understand how there are “”a lot of half truths” in it. It is the story, from the viewpoint of actual interviews of those involved, not a political statement.

  • BixlerB

    It’s a movie about an American failure. Why get depressed again?

  • JarTroop

    Sadly, I think moviegoers wanted to flock to Ride Along 2, The Renevant and The Force Awakens. I hope that word of mouth will give 13 Hours legs. As a soldier based in Korea, the on-base theater have some decent attendance and many walked out with tears in their eyes. The issue is with another Michael Bay film (Pain and Gain), there may be no international release and that will hurt revenue. They should release this movie overseas. I think because the movie did not tap into the right marketing, had Benghazi in its title and had an opening in Dallas versus Hollywood is ludicrous. Americans should see movies that are at the core of patriotism and heroism of America’s Finest (not meaning the Marines).

  • Harley

    This is a fantastic movie. The poor box office results may have somewhat to do with the election season. Much of the democrats are probably avoiding the movie because of what they believe it implies. The movie doesn’t point any fingers at all, but it does make one think a little about why we (govt.) didn’t do more to help them. Nonetheless, no direct or even implied jabs at certain government officials; just an account from the perspective of those on the ground that night. People should go see it.


    America is a failure. Just look at who the people put in office over the last 24 yrs.

    • Ed C

      Correction…America is well, it’s the leaders that need an overhaul.

    • Lee

      I like America just the way it is. Its highs and lows, its greatness, itswealtj and power and its military strength. cant think of a better place to live and raise a family.

  • Ed C

    Easy….since Hollywood has a most definite liberal slant, most movies that come out are attended my left thinking Americans. This movie is a touchy subject for the left since it directly questions the integrity their presidential candidate. Something a left thinking person doesn’t want to be confronted with. If it was a story about the Abu Ghraib prison under GWB, it would’ve been a blockbuster.

    • Summer Rose

      Except NOT ONCE was Clinton ever mentioned in this movie, nor was Obama or any other top official.
      It DOES show the failure of ANY backup coming to help the people caught up in the violence at BOTH the Embassy Annex and the CIA compound approx one mile away.
      As combat or people in war goes, this movie is a very taunt and exceptional portrayal of their thoughts, fears, actions and the brutal outcome of it all.
      Many, many people I noticed came out of the theater with tears in their eyes and I found that there was NO noise from anyone within the theater, except for that coming from the film itself.
      On a scale of 1-10, I would give this movie a rating of 9+ .

  • Acav

    Inspite of the fact that Mr Bey tried to not point fingers the inevitable truth floats to the top. Unresponsives officials in the State Department led to the death od a US Ambassador. If not for the actions of a few Veteran Contractors and their willingness to place themselves in the path of overwhelming opposition, the loss of US personnel would have been far greater. A lack of personal courage and a deer in the headlights approach of those State Department managers in the nation’s capital and on the ground delayed the rescue of a top US Official in a hostile land. What is one American life worth? Fortunatley to some everything. Whether the warriors were military or former military contractors the story is about what they did and what they were willing to sacifice. I agree with ED C. that the current campaign shine a bright light on a popular canidate and her suporting party does not want this movie to sucseed. The movie was well acted and and he story was compelling, well worth the cost of admission.It is too bad that a current canidate is sensitive to a failure of her former departmrnt while under her care but it is what it is.

    • Jon

      Last time I checked, State Dept general gets into trouble and then turns to DoD to bail them out. But, security of the AMEMB and its consuates resides with the host nation–not the US. Go pull a tour of duty in a DAO and then you will understand things better. The big questions that havenot been asked or ansered publicly are (1) wht di dthe ambassador leave his PSD behind in Tripoli that day? (2) Who compromised his travel schedule which is considered classified information until the day of the events? (3) Why didn’t the gov’t of Libya provide protection of the consulate when asked? (Could it be due to there is no functionaing gov’t of Libya that Obama thought it would be fun to topple?)

  • The Todd

    I read the book and they barely mention any of the political fallout. If the movie had the tagline “No Politics” it may have done better since all that the american public knows about the story is all of the political crap. Disclaimer should be “no politicians were involved or injured in the making of this movie.” P.S. Chris Cornell is still lead singer of Soundgarden and they will be working on a new album this year!

    • Jenika

      At the time there was no political fallout so none was mentioned. The right wing press created that after the thought.

  • dana beausoleil

    I’m a soldier. I was a sailor/submariner/NAVSPECWAR commando. it seems I’ve been on the front lines for wars for 30+ years. We don’t call them that, since often Congress fails to act (although Presidents send use of force requests to Congress). I took my 18 year old daughter to see it. As someone who’s been there in it, I can say it captured the confusion, the dubious leadership, the cost of indecision under crisis conditions and the real cost of the 1% who selflessly serve to keep others safe in this country and around the world. For myself, I respect the director’s choice of point of view and the guilt the survivors felt for those they could not save. Except for the mortars, which were evidently composed of massive amounts of JP5 jet fuel, it was close enough to the reality of life in these countries we are in that I sat uncomfortably in my seat. It didn’t do well because of the endless blame game everyone plays with this place. As a priority 1A unit, our job was to be “anywhere in the world in 48 hours” not in 1/2 day. This was a dangerous, far-away place and we took more risk than we should have and paid for it dearly. As always, the folks that did all the hard work to untangle us from the mess we got ourselves into take the hits and move on….unsung heroes walk amongst us.

  • Ant.

    People are hiding their heads in the sand pretending it didn’t happen that way. That our government would leave it’s personnel to die and fend for themselves. They are afraid that once they see it, they will have to admit that our p.o.t.u.s. and former s.o.s. are responsible for 4 American’s deaths and lied about what actually happened.

  • erich

    People don’t have any clue about this. It was news for about a week that was soon forgotten. We live in a world now full of so called millennials or preppies whose only focus is to make as much money as possible and throw tokens at the military and then run off the beach or huggy parties. Our service people are dying over this!

  • LJW

    I really wanted to see the movie, but I have an 8-month old who would prevent everyone from enjoying it…


    I saw the movie last weekend and it was very interesting and intense to me other then the jerky camera moves and cutesy talk between the contractors. Maybe most Americans are just tired of war films and prefer fantasy flix. The film did a good job exposing the lack of a meaningful military response and the extraordinary heroism of the contractors.

  • PhaoBinh

    I taped Brett Bair’s interview with the 3 and have watched it many times taking copious notes. I plan to see the flick soon, but it is so complex I wonder if i should read the book first. I think I would be lost without knowing a lot about the battle first.
    Nah, probably should just see it several times.

  • carlton

    negative press. not active military. I saw the previews and think the movie looks good but I don’t really go all that much.
    combat vet.

  • john

    do they tell how the ambassador his men were killed?, i have heard they were captured, then silence

    • Len


      Yes the movie does tell how the ambassador and his men were killed. They both died of smoke inhalation from a fire set inside the facility by the attackers.

  • Guest

    I plan to see it, but was traveling and had other distractions. I think the current mid-atlantic states winter storms will also be a factor.

  • Tom

    I hope not to insult the veterans and brave men who take these jobs, but the movie was artificial to me. I am a combat veteran, Vietnam 1968, and the battle scenes were explosive, but unreal. Seeing a SOG soldier standing erect on a roof top while surrounded by enemy soldiers seemed one of the most silly scenes. The characters were made out to be more concerned with things at home, than in the streets and fields surrounding the site of the battle. I wonder why the rape and murder of Ambassador Stevens was not portrayed. That was the reason the battle occurred? I have wondered since seeing the movie, why America places it’s diplomats, support staff, and security people in such dangerous, and unsupported spots? It is disgraceful that America did not actively support the Americans under attack. Whoever made that decision is a disgrace.

  • Don

    Thie is another truthful film the same as “2016” and the Dems/Liberals refused to see it. For some reason Dems/Liberals refuse to see the truth in anything. All you have to do is watch that side of the worthless congress and see how they line up on things critical to the national Defense or during investigations of corrupt officials. Had Obama been white and/or a Republican he would have been gone long ago.

  • David

    This movie highlights the bravery and dedication of 6 former military heroes turned contractors. It deliberately stays away from political issues. It does show who gave the stand down order. It does not go into who gave orders not to send in Air Force assets or additional ground troops.

  • Lee

    People like myself are sick and tired of the politization of Benghazi and therefore many of us stayed away. I dont care if it really wasnt political as you may ecoect. Its just a movie, with play actors, and Hollywood creative license.



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